Prototype 3D shapes without digital modeling

To prototype non-linear shapes or wearable objects that have to be adapted to a certain part of a body we used a technique that avoids spending hours in a 3D software. It eases the process since no modeling of the desired shape or part of the body is required.

Taking a balloon as the shape we wanted to reproduce, we went through the following steps:

1. Cover the balloon with tape


2. Cover it then with fabric (cotton is ok), making the appropriate cuts and using tape to follow the curves.


3. Draw a desired pattern which will be used for cutting the fabric. Shapes should be about 3-4 cm. wide maximum in order to get flat pieces. It’s useful to draw extra lines that cross the main shapes and label them in both sides, in order to align adjacent pieces afterwards.



4. Cut the fabric following the pattern. The resulting pieces can be used to reconstruct the balloon, sticking the pieces together of cutting these shapes out of another material.


In order to be more precise to cut the new fabric, I scanned the patterns and traced them using Illustrator. Then I cut them with the laser-cutter, ready to be sewed.



We used this technique to build the dock of the project Atmo. Some pictures of the process:


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